Irene's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Doctoral Roadtrip

IRENE AGUILAR

Licensed M.D. / State Senator
State of Colorado

“You don’t come out of school and become what you are going to be...you start your journey. Each step along, whether you think it’s successful or not, informs the next step you take.”

INTERESTS:

Medicine Politics

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Perseverance Support & Encouragement Struggle Determination Transitions Choices Doubt Self-Reflection Goals Success Confidence Character Talent

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was often told that going to college would be a waste of time—says all it took was “one person to say that your potential is much greater than you think it is, so go for it.”
  • She became the first person in her family to get a college degree.
  • Worked for 23 years as a primary care provider for Denver Health and Hospitals; currently practices medicine at Clínica Tepeyac, which serves a primarily uninsured and Latino population.
  • Gave birth to a rare form of genetically identical twins, one of whom has developmental disabilities; this inspired her to participate in public service and health care advocacy.
  • After learning more about health insurance and how it is funded in the U.S., she became angered by the system—decided to run for public office in order to advance the cause of universal health care.
  • Received the governor's appointment to the Developmental Disabilities Council and also served on the Vulnerable Populations task force of Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission on health care reform.
  • Currently serving as one of four Colorado State Senators representing Denver and works primarily on the Committee of Health and Human Services.
  • Notable legislation she has sponsored includes: creating a commission of health care experts to analyze costs, expanding Medicaid eligibility, and improving access to childhood immunizations.

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